The Brain Health Imperative in the 21st Century-A Call to Action: The AAN Brain Health Platform and Position Statement

Neurology. 2023 Sep 26;101(13):570-579. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000207739.


Brain health is crucial to optimizing both the function and well-being of every person at each stage of life and is key to both individual and social progress. As a concept, brain health is complex and requires a multidisciplinary collaborative approach between many professional and public organizations to bring into effect meaningful change. Neurologists are uniquely positioned to serve as specialists in brain health and to advance the newly evolving field of preventive neurology, which aims to identify individuals at high risk of brain disorders and other neurologic conditions and offer strategies to mitigate disease emergence or progression. For decades, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has demonstrated a commitment to brain health through its public outreach and advocacy. The AAN's Brain Health Initiative launched in 2022 with a strategic plan prioritizing brain health as a key aspect of public engagement and positioning the AAN and neurologists as champions of brain health in collaboration with a broad range of other brain health providers. In this study, we present (1) the new definition of brain health developed by the AAN for neurologists, patients, partners in health care, and the public; (2) the strategic objectives of the AAN Brain Health Initiative; and (3) the AAN Brain Health Platform and Action Plan framework, including key positions on brain health, its 3 ambitious goals, and a national brain health vision. The top-line priorities of the AAN Brain Health Action Plan highlight the need for research, education, public policy, and direct-to-public messaging across the individual's life span and will serve as a catalyst for future cross-disciplinary collaborations within each epoch and longitudinally. The AAN Brain Health Platform is designed to communicate the AAN's vision for brain health and provide a blueprint toward achieving the future of optimal brain health across the life span for all. Through this position statement, we call upon neurologists and other stakeholders in brain health to join our collective efforts to accomplish the ultimate goal of transforming the current trajectory of public health of an increasing burden of neurologic disorders-from both illness and injury-to achieving optimal brain health for all.

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes
  • Brain
  • Brain Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Neurologists
  • Neurology*